An engine oil cooler kit is responsible for regulating temperature, and maintain peak performance of your engine. The harder you drive your vehicle, the higher the engine temperatures get. As a result, you can expect your engine fluids to increase. That’s where the engine oil cooler does its job & helps remove heat from your oil.
How does it work?
For most vehicles on the road, engine oil is fed to the oil coolers from an adapter that is located between the engine and the engine oil filter. The oil then flows through the tubes of the cooler while the engine coolant flows around the tubes. The heat from the oil is transferred through the walls of the tubes to the surrounding coolant. The heat absorbed by the engine’s cooling system is then transferred to the air as it passes through the vehicle’s radiator.
Why it’s important
Your oil keeps your engine lubricated, as well as keeping your system cool. If your oil is consistently too hot, it is not serving its purpose in anyway. Several things start to happen engine oils temperature raises to high. Firstly, the hotter your oil becomes, the thinner it gets. That sets off a chain reaction and you will start to lose the ability to prevent metal-to-metal contact. We all know what starts to happen next, damage. Your pressure will begin to drop, and eventual engine failure.
Your factory oil cooler is designed to work with a factory engine. It may not be able to tolerate the higher temperatures your performance vehicle is producing. Adding a performance oil cooler can help you avoid these issues.
Performance Oil Cooler Kits
Performance oil cooler kits are designed for vehicles who experience more harsh driving environments. Whether that be heavy duty towing, long days off-roading, a day at the track, or rough driving on the street; you can benefit from a performance oil cooler. Depending on your intended use of your vehicle the type of oil cooling you need may vary.
There are several types of performance oil coolers; plate and fin coolers, stacked coolers, and tube and fin coolers. Stacked coolers are the largest of the 3 types. It features larger plates to help rid of the heat. Tube and fin coolers contain serpentine tubes which the oil flows through. The fins then transfer the heat back into the air. Plate and fin coolers are formed much like a radiator, with oil flowing through the plates, which are attached to fins.
Several manufactures offer performance oil cooler kits.
PERRIN oil cooler tames oil temperatures keeping them at a consistent 85-90C (185f-194f). This is the temperature where engines make the most power. The PERRIN Performance filter adapter features an integrated 85C (185F) thermostat. This means oil will not start flowing through the oil cooler until oil temps reach an optimum temperature of 85C. PERRIN’s oil cooler kit uses lightweight Aeroquip brand -10 hose that is rated for 250psi and 215F. Each hose consists of anodized -10 push-lock type aluminum hose ends. These fittings are designed to fit without the need for clamps, but we take the extra step and add a clamp ensuring they will never come apart.
Greddy/GREX oil cooler kits use a similar inner-fin core design as their famous intercoolers. They are able to increase oil capacity, decrease oil temperatures, and extend engine and oil life. Their systems also offer an internal (or external) thermostat (opening range 71-85 C) to allow for quick engine warm up. The efficient core and durable steel-braided lines ensure good flow and a leak free installation.
HKS Oil Coolers use high performance cooling cores; so there is the possibility of overcooling which is prevented by the use of a thermostat (some vehicles excluded). This thermostat has high response and able to react quickly to change of oil temperature. Once oil temperature reaches the set level, the oil will flow through the cooler core but bypasses when temperatures drop lower. This allows engine oil to be maintained at the ideal temperature. In cases where the core or lines become blocked and the oil pressure rises, the thermostat will bypass the core to maintain the correct oil pressure and prevent damage to the oil lines and fittings
Mishimoto ditched the lightweight design for a full aluminum, TIG-welded bar-and-plate cooler for added strength and cooling. The bars and plates are a much more robust form of heat exchanger core construction intended for improved heat transfer and have the strength to shrug off potential road debris, keeping your oil temps down, and where it should be. Additionally, they added 10mm to the core’s thickness, equating in a 46% increase in core volume and increased the oil capacity by .4 qt.
It’s important to protect all the hard work we put into our vehicle. Our engines oil is extremely important to protect, or a series of unfortunate events will occur. Luckily with many leading manufacturers producing an oil cooler kit, you can remove that fear.